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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Nov 20, 2011
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    5
    startup disk full and can't delete recovered email files
    A few days ago, I sent out a number of pictures to a group, but something went wrong in the mail program, and I had over 10000 "recovered" emails containing nothing but those pictures I sent out (with them just repeated over and over). When I tried to delete them, then I started getting the startup disk full message. The mail program wouldn't function yesterday, but is working again now, and I haven't gotten the disk full message this morning. However, those 10000+ recovered files are still in the mailbox and can't be deleted. Any ideas how to get rid of them and free up the space?

  2. #2

    mrplow's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2007
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    UK
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    27" iMac i7 (2011) 10.11, Mac Mini i5 (2014), iPhone6s, Apple Watch, iPad Air 2, New AppleTV (4?)
    I'm not sure I understand by what you mean by recovered I'm afraid.

    Where are the emails? Inbox? Junk? Sent?

    How many did you send?
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Nov 20, 2011
    Posts
    5
    There is a mailbox that appeared in the "ON MY MAC" section that is labelled "Recovered", and it contains 10499 copies of the same email that I had sent out with pictures. The actual picture size would have probably been about 2 mb, but it says 41.2 mb. I deleted some files on my hard drive (which was almost full, with the message coming that "Your startup drive is almost full. Please delete some files"), and so I have been able to delete a few of the "recovered files." But once I got past about 12 deletions, then it wouldn't allow me to delete anymore, saying "You cannot delete because the device is full."

  4. #4

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Texas, where else?
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    26,465
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    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    I have an old post somewhere around here when I did that and the fix - have to find it.

    The issue is that the email you sent out was larger than the max size permitted by your email service and our Macs (stupid computer) keep trying to send it over and over and over and over again.

    Ahh, here it is:

    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/os-...ot-sync-2.html

    Read through the thread - a couple of other users posted some better walk throughs than my initial post.
    Post # 30 is particularly good.

    edit:
    Quit Mail so it stops trying to send and empty the Trash.
    Rebooting may give you some additional space since virtual memory used will be less after a restart.
    Possible try booting into Safe mode if still a problem.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Nov 20, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for the tip. I'm not quite savvy enough to follow the directions post #30 gave, but I'm gradually beginning to get all of those recovered files delated and create space. Once there is a bit of space, it becomes progressively easier to do, it seems, though it is quite time-consuming. Just for the sake of others if they run into a similar problem, the pictures I sent out were in 4 separate emails with reduced size, with each being only around 500 or 600 kb. This was done about a month ago, and so they've just been sitting there, slowing down the computer since, and only reaching a crisis just recently. Only the first of the emails got "recovered" (and that was 10449 times!) and each of those appears to have somehow reverted to the original pictures in iPhoto, so that each email was listed at 41.4 mb! Those numbers don't quite add up, of course, as that would be over 400 gb, which I think is much more than the capacity of the computer, though I'm not sure how much capacity there actually is. But whatever, it's obviously the reason my disc was essentially full. Anyway, I apparently just have to delete blocks of them at a time, and have gotten rid of about 10% in a couple of hours of computer time. It's my office computer, and so by next week, I hope to be back to normal.

  6. #6

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Texas, where else?
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    26,465
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    All of those recovered emails are in that cache folder - if you follow that tutorial, you will get rid of all of them in one fell swoop - there is no need to open up Mail to spend the time deleting them individually nor in groups.

    edit:
    Well, I am getting senile - so, I don't really remember if that deletes the recovered emails or only the one that is being sent over and over again.
    But, if you will highlight the Recovered folder in the sidebar where all those emails are being stored, then on the Menu bar go to Edit - Select All - then click on the Trash can icon.
    Then check the Trash mail folder in the side bar - may need to do the same thing there to permanently delete them.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

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